Easter Monday COVID-19 update: Ottawa cases at 586, Kanata company creates new tool in battle, Country Haven death toll reaches 16, Renfrew County numbers

Special to WC Online

OTTAWA – Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has confirmed 37 more cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Ottawa to 586.

The number of deaths in Ottawa stands at 11. No new COVID-19 deaths have been reported, OPH confirmed today (April 13).

According to OPH numbers, 16 per cent of cases have been hospitalized, including five per cent in the Intensive Care Unit.

The media age of cases is 48 years, and age range of cases are from one to 102.

There continues to be 12 outbreaks in institutions in the city.

Ontario is reporting 421 new COVID-19 cases today (April 13) and 17 new deaths.

That brings the province to a total of 7,470 cases, including 291 deaths and 3,357 cases that have been resolved. It’s an increase of six per cent over Sunday’s total, continuing a relatively low growth rate over the past several days.

The number of patients in hospital, 760, rose slightly, but rates of patients in intensive care and on ventilators remained relatively stable.

Premier Doug Ford expressed frustration last week that Ontario has been testing for COVID-19 well below its capacity of 13,000 a day.

And while the province has said it will do 8,000 tests daily by Wednesday, just over 5,000 were completed in the last 24 hours.

There have been at least 89 COVID-19 outbreaks reported in long-term care homes across the province.

Kanata company brings new tool to fight against COVID-19

KANATA – Spartan Bioscience’s The Spartan Cube has been approved by Health Canada and is now ready to join the fight against COViD-19.

Health Canada recently approved the use of Spartan Bioscience’s portable, rapid-testing device for COVID-19.

The Spartan Cube is expected to help provide rapid tests for health services in rural and remote areas such as Indigenous communities and each cube can perform 10 to 15 tests a day.

“There is an urgent, unmet need for rapid COVID-19 testing, and as a proudly Canadian company, we are excited that our technology will be an important part of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada,” CEO Paul Lem released in a statement Monday. 

The hand-held device, about the size of a coffee cup, eliminates the need for swab samples to travel to the nearest lab, which can be a logistical challenge.

The federal, Alberta and Ontario governments are among those who have contracts for the testing kits, which can confirm results in less than one hour.

Ontario has ordered nearly 1-million testing kits, while Alberta’s contract is for 100,000 kits. The cube uses Spartan’s COVID-19 test cartridges and proprietary swabs, manufactured in Ottawa.

Health Canada greenlit the device on Saturday and Spartan says it will begin shipments “immediately.”

Spartan says the test, in which either the nose or throat is swabbed, can be operated by non-laboratory personnel in a variety of locales such as airports, border crossings, doctors’ offices, pharmacies and clinics.

Almonte’s Country Haven outbreak death toll reaches 16

ALMONTE – A devastating COVID-19 outbreak at the Country Haven long-term care home has now claimed 16 people.

Almonte Country Haven confirmed the numbers Sunday (April 12) after six more residents passed away over Easter weekend.

“Our thoughts are with the families who have lost loved ones,” home adminstrator Carolyn Della Foresta released in a statement Sunday (April 12).

Due to increased testing by Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Public Health and expanded criteria, including testing residents without symptoms who had been in close proximity to those with positive test, the total number of confirmed positive cases at the home has increased to 36 in a home that housed 82 residents before the outbreak. 

The region’s public health has again expanded its testing criteria and will be swabbing all residents who have not yet been tested. The facility was informed in the next few days, public health will also be retesting residents who initially were positive for COVID-19, but who are not currently exhibiting symptoms and 14 days has lapsed since the onset of their initial symptoms.

“We commend public health for expanding their testing criteria to include all residents and retest those who are feeling better,” Della Foresta said. “The health and safety of all Residents and front-line staff is our number one priority and the care we provide is guided by the most up-to-date and accurate information we have regarding a Resident’s health status. We continue to work closely with our partners at Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Public Health to ensure all new and ongoing care directives are implemented and are clearly communicated to all staff.

“We continue to be in daily communication with provincial and local health authorities to ensure we are able to respond appropriately to the outbreak and share crucial information with other homes in the province. We have been proactive in sharing experiences specific to Almonte Country Haven with Public Health to inform best practices at the provincial level.”

Renfrew County cases hit 14 confirmed over Easter weekend

RENFREW COUNTY – Renfrew County’s number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 14 following the weekend, with one death related to the pandemic.

Around 710 people in Renfrew County have been tested for the novel coronavirus with 174 test results still pending. Next door, which covers Lanark County has reported 191 cases and 15 deaths. The Country Haven Retirement Home in Almonte has had 11 deaths reported and upwards of 21 positive cases. There have also been reports that two residents at Stoneridge Manor in Carleton Place have died with 29 residents and 19 staff members testing positive.

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